[Editor: What John called a “preamble”—but which was in fact a jeremiad full of bitterness that he was unable to attend the Pride 1978 unveiling in NY—has been excised.]
Earthy. But I need a better word. Gaia-like? Nope, that’s not better at all, save for the fact that it reaches back into myth. For this is less a whisky than a portal that opens up new worlds, or makes possible new forms of existence.
In my dream, I am preparing Harriet’s body for burial. The fabled pet of Charles Darwin celebrated her dodransbicentennial, and last, birthday in Australia, where she loved to eat hibiscus flowers and take naps. But today I’m anointing her leathery appendages with an oil made from suspended weasel catarrh and a salve whose principal ingredient is squeezed from the musk glands of gazelles. And I’m rubbing the scute of her shell with Jim Bintliff’s Delaware River mud. As we lay her into an enormous Bubinga wood coffin, my grief stops me. I breathe in deeply in the hope that my cry might finally come out, and it is this unforgettable smell that I find on the nose of the Glenmorangie Pride.
|Proof that John is loved|
The mouth is perfectly blended. Thick and syrupy. Petrified blueberry found in the molars of a triceratops. Grapes trampled under Julius Caesar’s sandals, while doing a little soft shoe in the Assembly. “Vini, vidi, and straight to video,” he is rumored to have said in the hopes of distracting the masses. Boysenberry stew that spreads out and makes itself at home. It’s free range boysenberry that favors a diet sorghum. Tarry tarry night, after eating taffy. Massive tannic backdraft like the passage of a high speed train rushing by the platform at an incredible speed.
On the finish there’s a rumor of wine, a lovely wine that is hidden away in the background like a redheaded girl hidden in the pleats of her mother’s skirt. If beets were tomatillos, if I could arrange a marriage between salsa and chutney, even then I would not have landed upon the depth and richness on offer here. I want to say that it’s Gladwellian, except that I’m sure it’s had far more than 10, 000 hours in which to perfect itself. Perhaps even more than 100 times 10, 000 hours. Whatever the number, it is a master, an expert, venerable in every way.
The Glenmorangie Pride 1978 is oikeiosis–Nearly untranslatable, the term is often rendered by “appropriation,” “orientation,” “familiarization,” “affinity,” “affiliation,” and “endearment.” It’s opposite is “alienation,” and the etymology connotes the idea of being at home with or familiarized with a thing. Zeno and other Stoics thought that our first impulse of self-preservation arose out of our perception of and being at home with ourselves. What’s more, out of this essentially egoistic root, one could through effort come to be similarly at home with others and even all of nature. That, at any rate, is what I feel at this moment.
–Our thanks to David Blackmore and Glenmorangie for inviting us to the launch event of this whisky!